Two new foldable electric bikes have been launched by automotive giant Ford as it looks to solve the problem of increasing gridlock on city streets.
The MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro are both prototypes designed to be folded up and stored in the back of more typical four-wheel Ford vehicles, allowing users to park in easier to access parts of town before riding the rest of the distance.
The Mobile World Congress is an unusual place for hardware launches outside of the usual smartphones and pocketable gadgets, but Ford has used the event to launch the bikes – one for personal use, the other a larger goods bike for deliveries – and its corresponding MoDe:Link iPhone app.
Ford’s app is designed to offer users the best route for journeys that mash up all types of transport – driving to a train station, taking the bike on a train and completing the journey on the bike.
The app is also designed for other compute processes, such as judging how much electrical assistance it gives riders based on their heart rate, complete with a No Sweat mode for if you want to turn up at your 10am meeting without looking like you swam there.
More complex is its ability to ‘sense, and communicate with other vehicles’, something that should hopefully reduce road accidents involving ‘unseen’ cyclists.
The bikes themselves are the result of a design competition within Ford’s international design team, seeing over 100 entries submitted.
Both bikes are equipped with a 200-watt motor that can assist the pedlar up to 25Km/h, with a 9-amp-hour battery.
It’s perhaps a sign of what to expect from the future, and for many, mashing up the different modes of available transport is a more realistic target than trying to get every man, child and beast on a bicycle.